Look Into Mine Eyes
“The eyes are the mirror of the soul.” ~Yiddish Proverb
Well, if the eyes are truly the mirror of the soul then I have a recurring dilemma regarding how I appear through other people’s eyes.
It started when I was sixteen. I was sitting in the main office of my high school my first day back on campus after a one year stay in the States. I was going into my junior year. Next to me sat a student I had never seen before and I assumed she was new to campus. I assumed correctly. I greeted her. We talked. Our mothers talked. Then, she went to unpack and settle into her dorm room. Me? I went in search of old friends. I became rather good friends with that particular individual and she was in my grade so we ended up graduating together. It was near the end of our senior year when, in some random discussion, she mentioned meeting me for the first time and being terrified of me. What? She went on to tell me, “It is your eyes. If you are not smiling then you look as though you are mad at the world. I was completely intimidated by you.” I have heard absolutely every single variation of those three sentences more times then I can count in the sixteen years since it was first brought to my attention. I have been told that my eyes, when not backed by a smile, make me look: angry, frustrated, standoffish, irritated, conceited, unapproachable, and more – the list goes on and on. I heard it again today from a coworker who is employed in the lodge kitchens. “Don’t come back here looking all mad at the world,” he said. “You need to smile more often.”
My eyes are surprisingly feline. They have a distinctive cat shape and are an interesting shade of green with striking shots of gold scattered around the pupil. I quite like them. Perhaps I can understand the misconception as most cats sit around looking at the world with a complete air of disdain. Personally – I like to think that I am a rather amiable individual … easy to talk to … glad to meet new people … and, often, overly friendly and talkative at times, but not intimidating. What say you those who know me well?
Here’s the rub: I can not possibly walk around this earth every single day of my life with a real or false smile plastered across my face. The thought of behaving as such is made more difficult by the simple fact that I am extremely self-conscious about my teeth. Honestly though – I know no individual of my acquaintance that looks blissfully happy and grins from ear-to-ear every moment of their existence. It isn’t human.
So, my dear friends and readers, if we should one day meet (if we have not already done so) … please do not judge me by my unsmiling eyes.
“You never know how you look through other people's eyes.” ~Unknown